Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Lesson About Money

“And he called the twelve together ... and sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.” Luke 9:1-3 

“Please stand up if you want to relinquish your rights to reputation, your own plans, your finances, or anything else for the sake of serving Christ.” I felt an inner longing to literally give up my right to “my” money. If I was without money, could Christ meet my needs? Where I was at spiritually that evening in 1975 in Kona, Hawaii, the answer was a burning “yes!” I stood to my feet as Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission (or YWAM), prayed for all of us.

I’d moved to Hawaii a few weeks earlier. Looking for a job, and a church in which to practice my new found faith, I had met people from YWAM, and was in their School of Evangelism now, along with about 80 others. I had paid for my expenses at YWAM and had some money in the bank that I’d saved.

I had never been without money. My family was not rich, we were blue collar folks from a small town in Idaho. But I always had some money. Now, I was burning with excitement to trust God even if I had no money.

When Loren asked who still owed money for the school, hands shot up. One guy named Mike said, “I still owe $800.”

My heart leapt. I felt an impression to meet that need. If I gave Mike $800, I’d be down to zero, and I’d see if Jesus really could do what he’d said. But $800 was an unheard of amount for me to give! More so in 1975 when a gallon of gas cost about $.53[1].

Wanting to be cautious, I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to give $800 to Mike, when we get on the bus to leave tonight keep one seat next to Mike vacant.” I waited by the bus until everyone had gotten on. Then I boarded, and there was only one seat, and it was beside Mike!

The next day I withdrew eight one-hundred dollar bills and put them in an envelope. On the way to Mike’s apartment, I prayed, “Lord, let there be no one at the apartment.” When I arrived, none of the 5 or 6 roommates were there. I went in, slipped the unmarked envelope under Mike’s pillow, and left.

A couple days later, the students were given a chance to share what was happening. I sat excitedly waiting for Mike to speak.

He stood up and said, “I owed $802 on my school bill. A couple of days ago I found an envelope from someone under my pillow. It had $800 in it. That’s great, but that’s not what excited me. Last night two of us were in downtown Kailua-Kona talking to people about Jesus. As I spoke to one man, he insisted on pushing something into my hand. I told him, “We don’t want money,” but the man insisted.  Later when I looked I saw it was $2. I needed exactly $802, and the Lord gave me that precise amount.”

I remember the hair on the back of my neck standing up and getting goose bumps. God taught me a lesson about His ability to provide.


Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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